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School lunch research generates media buzz

The research attracted coast-to-coast attention in recent weeks. News segments about the school lunch research conducted by Karen Evans Stout aired in 17 of the top 20 media markets, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, and Dallas. In all, reports about the groundbreaking research aired more than 125 times on affiliates of the three major networks as well as CNBC, the WB, Fox, and a number of independent stations.

In addition, a number of national publications, academic journals, and educational associations—including The American School Board Journal and the National Education Association—plan to highlight the story in upcoming issues.

Stout, associate professor in the college’s educational leadership program, is looking at how schools use a child's lunch break during the school day. She believes sharing a meal has the potential to help students learn how to be more responsible for themselves and to care for and relate to others.

Her ongoing research project reveals that American school children are missing a huge opportunity that their peers in Europe enjoy.

"The lunch period can be used as a community experience, one in which students learn from the positive interaction with their peers. We should use this time to instill in schoolchildren some of our most cherished values," she says. "This is an issue that I think every parent in America should know about."

Stout, who expects to release results of a new study this fall, studies policies at the school level, including how administrators and officials use data to make decisions for the well-being of children and youth. Additionally, Stout studies federal, state, and local policy implementation and the politics of education.

--Joanne C. Anderson
janderson@lehigh.edu

Posted on Tuesday, September 09, 2003

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